Teachers Gain New Instructional Strategies with Kagan Professional Development

The session was conducted by Dr. Rick DuVall, a trainer with Kagan Cooperative Learning, a nationally recognized organization committed to best practices in teaching.

Significant educational research over the last thirty years suggests that students who use cooperative learning strategies perform better. Studies also show students have improved social skills and a reduction in discipline problems when they are engaged in the classroom.

This is not your average group work, though. To be truly effective, this kind of collaboration in the classroom requires four characteristics:

-Positive interdependence: Students need each other to complete activities.

-Individual accountability: While students work together to learn, all students are individually accountable for what they learn.

-Equal participation: Each student participates in classroom activities.

-Simultaneous interaction:
Students engage in a learning activity at the same time.

Teachers, who may utilize traditional instructional methods such as calling on one student at a time, now have a whole new set of tools in their arsenal. Kagan Cooperative Learning has developed over 200 structures that are designed to get students actively engaged.

What outcomes do faculty members at Carroll hope to see as a result of implementing Kagan structures? Academic dean and chemistry teacher J.J. Gregg says, “I hope to see increased scores on things like IB coursework, and fewer students needing academic intervention. I also think teachers will enjoy a new classroom environment. It’s fun to watch students engaged.”

We are grateful for Carroll teachers' willingness to give up a holiday to keep developing the strategies that will help our students succeed.